Apple, Epic lawsuit: Tim Cook ordered to sit for 7-hour deposition

  • A judge has ordered Tim Cook to sit for a 7-hour deposition as part of Epic Games’ lawsuit against Apple.
  • Epic sued Apple in August after its popular “Fortnite” game was booted from the App Store.
  • An update to the “Fortnite” app evaded the policy that allows Apple to take a 30% cut from in-app purchases.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A California judge has ordered Apple CEO Tim Cook to sit for a 7-hour deposition as part of Epic Games’ lawsuit against the phone maker.

According to court documents, “Fortnite” creator Epic Games originally wanted Cook to sit for eight hours in a deposition, a time period shortened after pushback from Apple, as Gizmodo first reported. Judge Thomas Hixon said seven hours is the amount of time that “a witness must suffer being deposed.” However, Hixon said that any longer would be “unjustified,” according to the documents.

Cook’s testimony, though made out of court, could be used when the case goes to trial, set to begin in May. 

Read more: Apple’s move to cut App Store commissions in half is a start, but it won’t fix its developer relations problem

Hixon also threw out Apple’s proposal to subpoena internal documents from rival Samsung, a request made as part of Apple’s mission to convince officials that its App Store business practices are similar to those of other companies. Hixon said the subpoena was “a quirky deep dive.” Apple remains under regulatory scrutiny for its App Store policies as lawmakers question whether they are anticompetitive and violate antitrust laws.

Apple did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Apple’s heated relationship with Epic Games started in August, when Epic introduced its own payment service into the “Fortnite” game, circumventing Apple’s rules stipulating that developers must use Apple’s own payment service. Apple and Google both take a 30% cut from in-app purchases, per their policies. Developers have long aired their grievances with the practice, claiming that the 30% fee gives Apple an unfair leg up in the market since the company’s own apps don’t have to follow the same rules.

In response to Epic’s violation of Apple’s rules, Apple and Google kicked Epic out of its app stores, barring anyone from accessing “Fortnite” on their devices. Epic responded with what appeared to be a well-prepared video mocking one of Apple’s most famous ads. In it, Epic said Apple held an “App Store monopoly” and called the company out for retaliating against Epic.

Epic slammed Apple and Google with lawsuits shortly after. Facebook said in mid-December that it would support Epic Games in its legal battle against Apple by providing the company with “relevant information…regarding how Apple’s policies have adversely impacted Facebook and the people and businesses who use our services.”

Facebook and Apple have a heated rivalry that stretches back years. The former is reportedly preparing an antitrust lawsuit against Apple that focuses on its App Store rules.

The Apple-Epic Games debacle kicked off shortly after a July 29 hearing, when Cook appeared before Congress alongside executives from Google, Amazon, and Facebook to face questioning over antitrust concerns.

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